PR 313 - Media Regulation & PR/Preparing your Resume


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This is a two-part PR lecture. Part 1 deals with various media regulations and rules to consider when conducting a media campaign. Part 2 is a basic overview of resume crafting for PR professionals.

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PR 313 - Media Regulation & PR/Preparing your Resume

  1. 1. Ethics and Self-Regulation in PR and other Media PR 313
  2. 2. What is Self-Regulation? <ul><li>A decision based on personal standards and ethics, rather than the law </li></ul><ul><li>“ The right thing to do” </li></ul>
  3. 3. Example <ul><li>There is no law that says you can not make up a quote – but is it the right thing to do? </li></ul><ul><li>“Hype” is not necessarily illegal – but is it in the best interest of your public? </li></ul>
  4. 4. Self-Regulation in Media <ul><li>Many media outlets decide what to cover based on self-regulation, rather than legal necessity </li></ul><ul><li>They abide by codes of conduct </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Code statements convey their principles for how they will behave and what they will focus on </li></ul></ul>
  5. 5. Professional Groups <ul><li>Several industry trade professional groups exist to help shape self-regulation policies </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>National Ass’n of Broadcasters (NAB) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>National Cable Television Ass’n (NCTA) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Better Business Bureau’s National Advertising Division (NAD) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Protects against false advertising claims </li></ul></ul></ul>
  6. 6. Ethics and PR <ul><li>Some PR writers are accredited members of the PRSA </li></ul><ul><li>These PR officials will earn the APA distinction </li></ul><ul><li>If a PR writer is APA accredited, then they must adhere to certain ethical standards </li></ul>
  7. 7. Code Overview <ul><li>They must adhere to the highest standards of truth </li></ul><ul><li>They must give credit where it is due </li></ul><ul><li>They will not knowingly disseminate false information </li></ul>
  8. 8. Codes of Conduct <ul><li>As PR professionals, you should be familiar with some of the “codes of conduct” in the media you will deal with </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Radio </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>TV </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Journalism </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Advertising </li></ul></ul>
  9. 9. Ethics and Radio <ul><li>Broadcasters face many ethical dilemmas </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Some issues have legal consequences, some do not </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Examples: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Songs with adult themes or lyrics </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Controversial talk show topics </li></ul></ul>
  10. 10. Example: The NAB Code <ul><li>National Ass’n. of Broadcasters (NAB) established the first radio code in 1929 </li></ul><ul><li>First TV code established in 1952 </li></ul><ul><li>Many TV/radio stations agreed to follow the code of conduct – but there was little punishment for violation </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Loss of “seal of good practice” </li></ul></ul>
  11. 11. TV Codes <ul><li>Most codes cover programming and advertising </li></ul><ul><li>How much time for kids programs? </li></ul><ul><li>How many commercials per hour? </li></ul>
  12. 12. Programming Principles <ul><li>Voluntary programming principles established by NAB in 1990 </li></ul><ul><li>Covers: children’s TV, violence, indecency and obscenity, and drug abuse </li></ul><ul><li>No legal ramifications for those that do not follow </li></ul>
  13. 13. Other Codes and Policies <ul><li>Radio and TV News Directors (RTNDA) has an 11-article Code of Broadcast News and Ethics </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Courtroom coverage </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Privacy </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Society of Professional Journalists </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Accuracy in reporting </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Accountability </li></ul></ul>
  14. 14. Checkbook Journalism <ul><li>Paying for a source or interview is considered unethical unless it is clearly identified </li></ul>
  15. 15. Other Codes and Policies <ul><li>Codes in Advertising: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>American Advertising Federation </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Assn. of Better Business Bureaus Int’l </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>All ads should be truthful </li></ul></ul></ul>
  16. 16. Number One Conflict <ul><li>The top ethical problem in media is: </li></ul><ul><li>The conflict between making money and serving the public </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Example: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Should a TV station run sensational stories on a newscast to get higher ratings? </li></ul></ul></ul>
  17. 17. “Standards and Practices” <ul><li>Stations have a standards and practices department that oversees what content is allowed on the air </li></ul><ul><li>Serves as a moral guardian for the station </li></ul><ul><li>What is/is not acceptable on the air? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>This varies by community standards </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>What was censored 20 years ago may not be censored due to changing standards </li></ul></ul>
  18. 18. Standards and Practices <ul><li>Content is usually regulated based on: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Size of the market </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Time period </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Demographic/psychographic of audience </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Type of content involved </li></ul></ul>
  19. 19. Examples: <ul><li>A song played at 1 A.M. may not be appropriate at 3 P.M. </li></ul><ul><li>An announcer’s comment in a “big city” such as New York City may not play well in a more conservative city, such as Stockton </li></ul>
  20. 20. Payola and Plugola <ul><li>The accepting of money or gifts in return for playing songs on the air is known as Payola </li></ul><ul><li>Plugola is the free promotion of a product/service in which the announcer has a personal connection or financial interest </li></ul>
  21. 21. Some Regulations Still Linger <ul><li>Cigarette advertising banned </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Controversy over ads appealing to kids </li></ul></ul>
  22. 22. The Law & Broadcasting <ul><li>There are some broadcast laws that media practitioners need to know about </li></ul>
  23. 23. Obscenity, Indecency, and Profanity <ul><li>Section 1464 of the U.S. Criminal Code states that anybody who utters profane, indecent, or obscene language over radio or TV is liable to fine or imprisonment </li></ul><ul><li>If guilty, you may face fine up to $10,000, loss of license, or jail </li></ul><ul><li>However, defining violations is very tricky in this day and age </li></ul>
  24. 24. Obscenity, Indecency, and Profanity <ul><li>The challenges of prosecution: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>FCC is prohibited from censoring content </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>How do you define the above? </li></ul></ul>
  25. 25. Obscenity, Indecency, and Profanity <ul><li>Profanity = the irreverent or blasphemous use of the name of God </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Rarely enforced </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Obscenity has been defined by a 1973 Supreme Court case Miller v. California </li></ul><ul><ul><li>To be obscene, a program must: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Contain material that depicts or describes a patently offensive way certain sexual acts defined in state law </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Appeal to the prurient interest of the average person applying contemporary local community standards </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Lack serious artistic, literary, political, or scientific value. </li></ul></ul></ul>
  26. 26. Obscenity, Indecency, and Profanity <ul><li>Indecency Defined </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Something broadcast is indecent if it depicts or describes sexual or excretory activities or organs in a fashion that’s patently offensive according to contemporary community standards for the broadcast media at a time of day when there is a reasonable risk that children may be in the audience </li></ul></ul>
  27. 27. Recent Controversies <ul><li>Janet Jackson bares breast during Super Bowl half-time show </li></ul><ul><li>U2’s Bono says the “F” word during an awards show </li></ul><ul><li>Nudity during a TV show segment on “Puppetry of the Penis” </li></ul><ul><li>“Schindler’s List” TV airing censorship debated </li></ul>
  28. 28. Recent PR Controversies <ul><li>A Sacramento, Calif. radio station promotion promises to give a free Wii to the person who can drink the most wate </li></ul><ul><ul><li>One of the contestant’s dies from water poisoning </li></ul></ul><ul><li>A viral PR stunt for Adult Swim is confused for a bomb scare </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The city of Boston bills Turner over $1 million for wasted resources </li></ul></ul>
  29. 29. The V-Chip <ul><li>Section 551 of the Telecommunications Act of 1996 requires all TV sets manufactured after Jan. 1, 2000 to have a V-Chip </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Technology works in tandem with TV ratings system that identifies sexual, violent, or indecent content </li></ul></ul>
  30. 30. The Ratings System <ul><li>TV-Y – Programs suitable for all children </li></ul><ul><li>TV-Y7 – Programs directed to older children, ages 7 and above </li></ul><ul><li>TV-G – General Audience </li></ul><ul><li>TV-PG – Parental Guidance Suggested </li></ul><ul><li>TV-14 – Parents strongly cautioned for children under 14 </li></ul><ul><li>TV-MA – Mature Audiences only </li></ul>
  31. 31. The Ratings System <ul><li>Specific content is also identified </li></ul><ul><li>S – Sexual Content </li></ul><ul><li>L – Profanity/Strong Language </li></ul><ul><li>D – Sexually Suggestive Dialogue </li></ul><ul><li>V - Violence </li></ul>
  32. 32. Citizens’ Groups <ul><li>Citizen groups are often vocal about what is/is not allowable in the media </li></ul><ul><li>Three hot topics: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Portrayal of minorities </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Sex and violence </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Anything aimed at children </li></ul></ul>
  33. 33. Portrayal of Minorities <ul><li>Minority and Special Interest groups want to ensure that stereotypical and/or racist representations are not shown </li></ul><ul><li>Two controversial examples: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Frito Bandito </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Amos n’ Andy </li></ul></ul>
  34. 34. Examples of Racist/Stereotypical Imagery Under Attack
  35. 35. Sex and Violence <ul><li>National Coalition on Television Violence publishes a list of “most violent programs on TV” </li></ul><ul><li>American Family Association campaigns against anything it considers obscene on TV </li></ul>
  36. 36. Children’s Programming <ul><li>Children’s Television Act of 1990 requires minimum of 3 hours of educational programming a week </li></ul>
  37. 37. Children and Privacy <ul><li>Children's Online Privacy Protection Act of 1998 </li></ul>
  38. 38. Preparing your Resumé
  39. 39. What to Send <ul><li>Cover Letter </li></ul><ul><li>Resumé </li></ul><ul><li>Portfolio </li></ul>
  40. 40. Applying for the Job <ul><li>Craft a professional-looking resumé, or have one professionally done for you. Remember, this is often the first impression a potential employer receives about you! </li></ul>
  41. 41. Cover Letter <ul><li>No “standard” for cover letter </li></ul><ul><li>Keep it short (approx. 3 paragraphs) </li></ul><ul><li>Should complement (not duplicate) your resume </li></ul><ul><li>Should be personalized, if possible </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Avoid “Dear Sir” (sexist) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Where did you hear about the job? </li></ul><ul><li>Show enthusiasm for job </li></ul><ul><li>Highlight qualifications </li></ul><ul><li>Why are you perfect for this job? </li></ul><ul><li>INCLUDE CONTACT INFO </li></ul>
  42. 42. Resumé <ul><li>Highlights qualifications/experience in industry </li></ul><ul><li>Single page resume is fine for entry level position </li></ul><ul><li>No mistakes or typos </li></ul><ul><li>Do not exaggerate! </li></ul>
  43. 43. Resumé <ul><li>May Include: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Job Objective (optional) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Educational Background </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Highlight scholarships or school broadcast experience </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Work Experience </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Employer </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Job Title </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Date of Employment </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Description of Job Responsibilities </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>References (Two Options) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>“ References Available Upon Request” </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Separate Piece of Paper </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Contact Info!!! </li></ul></ul>
  44. 44. Common Resumé Flaws <ul><li>Distortions/Lies </li></ul><ul><li>Too Long </li></ul><ul><li>Errors/Misspellings </li></ul><ul><li>Lack of Specifics </li></ul><ul><li>Irrelevant Material </li></ul><ul><li>Failure to List Job Accomplishments </li></ul><ul><li>Too Short </li></ul><ul><li>Gaudy </li></ul>
  45. 45. Portfolio <ul><li>This demonstrates that you have skills transferable to the “real world” </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Writing samples </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Layout/design skills </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Strategic planning skills </li></ul></ul>
  46. 46. Interviewing <ul><li>Be prepared to talk about your specific skills and experience </li></ul><ul><li>Be enthusiastic </li></ul><ul><li>Think: “What can I offer?” </li></ul><ul><li>“ Shadow” the interviewer </li></ul><ul><ul><li>If they are casual or formal, follow their lead </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Lean toward the conservative side in dress and presentation </li></ul><ul><li>Specific to broadcast jobs: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>May ask you to do a “test” shift </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>“ Make or break” opportunity </li></ul></ul>
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